- Associated Press - Monday, May 19, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A group formed to fight a ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana use in Alaska said Monday that it’s gotten its first major contribution.

“Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2” said Chenega Corp. has committed $25,000 to the cause.

The president and CEO of the Alaska Native corporation, Charles Totemoff, said in a news release that the issue is about the health and well-being of Alaskans. He said the contribution is an investment in Alaska’s future.

The Alaska Democratic Party, declined to take sides on the debate at its recent convention. The Alaska GOP passed a resolution opposing the initiative at its convention earlier this month.

The initiative, scheduled for the November ballot, would legalize and regulate recreational use of marijuana by those 21 years of age or older.

Taylor Bickford, a spokesman for the ballot group behind the initiative, said marijuana should be taxed and regulated in a way similar to alcohol. He said by email that there’s no reason to allow “criminal organizations in the underground market to maintain monopoly control over this industry.”